The State Senate confirmed Governor Kathy Hochul’s appointment of Dr. Mary Bassett as New York State Health Commissioner on Thursday.

Bassett issued the following statement regarding her confirmation:

“I am honored to be officially appointed to serve as the 17th New York State Health Commissioner, and I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for entrusting me and the State Senate for this vote of confidence. As I have said from the beginning, I will continue to be open and transparent and make decisions based on science, data and improving the health of all New Yorkers. I will continue to work with our experts at the Department of Health and our partners at all levels of government on the COVID-19 response and other critical public health issues.”

51st District Senator Peter Oberacker voted in opposition to the confirmation.

Oberacker says since taking the helm as active State Health Commissioner, Bassett has rubber stamped several of the governor’s COVID mandates

He says Bassett has also helped oversee the firing of thousands of healthcare workers who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others.

“The rural areas I represent are experiencing a drastic loss of doctors, nurses, and volunteer first responders for a host of reasons, and I am concerned with her lack of a clear cut strategy to address the harmful decline,” said Oberacker.

The senator voted against Bassett’s confirmation during the Senate Health Committee meeting and again on the senate floor.

Oberacker says he’s ready to work with Bassett going forward.

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